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There is this metal thing shaped as a 'U'; you hit it against something and put it against your ear to hear this sound. I'm not sure what it's called but I need it to tune the A string on my violin.

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3 Answers 3

25

It's a tuning fork:

enter image description here

(image taken from the Thomann website)

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  • also a "camertone"?
    – enkryptor
    Jul 24, 2018 at 12:44
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    @enkryptor, looks like camertone looks like an English-ized spelling of a foreign word for tuning fork. There is камертон in Russian and maybe Kammerton in German. I'd never heard the word, so thanks for bringing it up.
    – JPhi1618
    Jul 24, 2018 at 14:35
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If it's U shaped it won't work. It needs to be Y shaped, so the handle can be held without damping the tines. Hold the handle onto something like the violin body, and the sound will be amplified. It's usually called a tuning fork, although a couple of my students call it a pitchfork, which, actually, it could be...

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  • The point is that the vibration travels into your skull and hit your ear drums. You bite using your front teeth right in front of the ball. The major advantage is I can flick it with a finger and immediately tune using a bow on a violin. It's actually much more useful than it sounds.
    – Nelson
    Jul 24, 2018 at 13:19
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I guess it is also called a diapason.

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  • 1
    Albeit the word exists in English, does it really mean tuning fork in English? Or is this just the case in Romance languages like French, Spanish and Italian?
    – Arsak
    Jul 24, 2018 at 9:00

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